Garyvee Marketing: Metaphorical Jabs and Right Hooks

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook" by Gary Vaynerchuk. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Are you looking for Garyvee marketing techniques? What are jabs and right hooks in terms of marketing?

In marketing, a metaphorical jab is content that builds the relationship between you and your customer. A metaphorical right hook is marketing content that includes a call to action and aims to convert a sale. These Garyvee marketing techniques were designed to help businesses get noticed in an oversaturated social media market.

Keep reading to learn more about Garyvee’s marketing techniques.

Note: The information in this article is from the book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk. The book was published in 2013 and some statistics and information may be out of date but Garyvee’s marketing advice is still valuable

Garyvee Marketing Techniques

In marketing, a metaphorical jab is content that builds the relationship between you and your customer. Garyvee marketing says jabs should be intriguing, engaging, entertaining, and/or create some sort of emotional response, such as making people laugh. People might not be ready to buy from you when they first encounter your content, but if you can give them value and make them think you understand them, they’ll be more likely to choose you over a competitor in the future. 

For example, on Facebook, Twix posted a photo of snapping a Twix bar in a forest to play off the old question about if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears, does it still make a sound? There was no call to action in the post; it was just meant to make people laugh and remind them of the saying.


[image] jabjab-twix-original.png

After a few jabs, the Garyvee marketing style is to then use a right hook. A metaphorical right hook is marketing content that includes a call to action and aims to convert a sale. There are three characteristics of a good right hook:

  • The call to action is easily comprehensible.
    • For example, on Tumblr, Target posted about a dress and included links that took customers directly to the dress product page.
  • The post works on all digital devices, including mobile.
    • The dress post looked good on both the desktop and mobile versions of Tumblr.
  • The post meets the conventions of the platform.
    • The post included a GIF (a short, looping series of images) that showed a dress from several angles. GIFs are a standard on Tumblr.

This Tumblr post from Amazon is an example of a right hook. Notice the price in the copy:

[image] jabjab-amazonl.png

While the right hook is the content that creates a sale, jabs are just as important. If you were in a boxing ring with an opponent, you couldn’t just throw a right hook out of nowhere; your opponent would slip out of the way. The Garyvee marketing technique says you need to set up an opportunity to throw the hook by throwing jabs first. It’s the same in marketing—before you ask a customer for a sale, you need to build a relationship with them. Jabs create reciprocity: When you’re given so much, people feel almost obligated to give back when you finally do throw your hook.

“Boxing” Combinations

There’s no universal formula for creating a perfect combination of marketing jabs and hooks, except that you’ll always have to throw more jabs than hooks. Additionally, well-established brands don’t have to jab as often as start-ups or brands that are trying to rebuild their reputations. For example, after BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the company had to jab a lot more often then it did previously. 

To find the perfect combination for your brand, you have to pay attention to what’s going on on social media, look at your analytics, constantly experiment, and then analyze the results. Consider what happens when you post at different times, use different hashtags, use slang, and so on.

These kinds of analyses take time and money, but the investment is worth it because you’ll end up with a step-by-step method for telling your brand’s story. However, keep in mind that your formula, once you figure it out, only applies broadly—you can’t repeat the same move too many times or it won’t be effective. Just like in boxing, one attack might work on one opponent but not another. 

Study Your “Opponent”

It’s important, as a boxer or a marketer, to study your opponent’s (customers’) techniques. A boxer watches videos of her opponent to try to figure out her weaknesses and strengths to create a strategy so that when they meet in the ring, she’s prepared. Marketers need to pay attention to their audiences too—what are they interested in? It’s even easier to study your audience than it is for a boxer to study an opponent because as a marketer, you have access to data mining and real-time feedback.

Garyvee Marketing: Metaphorical Jabs and Right Hooks

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Here's what you'll find in our full Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook summary:

  • Why creating strong social media content is like boxing
  • How the rise of social media has brought many changes to marketing
  • How to build a connection and then convert a sale

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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